Georgians Are More Eco-Minded than Much of Europe

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The FINANCIAL — Georgians are some of the most environmentally concerned Europeans, and the most willing to contribute some of their own income to environmental efforts.

 

This may have connotations for those doing business in Georgia, as Georgians may be willing to spend a little more money on solving environmental problems, or on products that make efforts to be green. 
In 2008, Georgian Opinion Research Business International conducted the Georgian portion of the European Values Survey.  Respondents were asked their opinion regarding the statements: “when humans interfere with nature it often produces disastrous consequences,” and “if things continue on their present course, we will soon experience a major ecological catastrophe,” Respectively, 97% and 94% of Georgians agreed or strongly agreed.

 

Georgians had similar attitudes to the European average regarding the statements, “the balance of nature is strong enough to cope with the impacts of modern industrial nations (37% agree),” and, “we are approaching the limit of the number of people the earth can support (64%).” However, GORBI found that there were two statements on which the Georgians almost universally agreed, and at a much higher rate than their other European countries: “I would give part of my income if I were certain that the money would be used to prevent environmental pollution (91%),” and, “human ingenuity will insure that the earth remains fit to live in (97%).” 

 

These figures suggest that, while Georgians are similarly worried about the fate of our natural environment, they have more hope in our ability to solve the problems than others in Europe, and are more willing to contribute some of their personal resources to the solutions. In fact, previous polls suggest that Georgians have more than just passing concerns over the environment.  In the first poll that GORBI ever conducted in Georgia, in 1990, respondents were asked to state their greatest concerns for the future of Georgia.  Despite all the difficulties at that time, preventing ecological disaster was the most common answer, with 69% of respondents mentioning it.

See also  Time Shifting 

 

 

“Eco-Attitude” Score

Willingness to Give Income

Georgia

35

91%

Germany

14

34%

Greece

32

84%

Hungary

19

49%

Ireland

-30

49%

Latvia

11

63%

Lithuania

8

43%

Luxembourg

37

70%

Malta

-7

67%

Moldova

-35

77%

N. Ireland

-12

48%

Kosovo

-71

89

 

Differences with Europe — Of the 12 countries discussed in this article, Luxembourg, Georgia, and Greece were the most environmentally minded, and Kosovo was by far the least. Kosovars were the least likely to agree that we are on the road to catastrophe, or that it was human interference that paved it.  They were also the most likely to agree that nature can cope with industry’s impact. 

 

To provide a simplified illustration, I’ve included a basic measure of “eco-attitude” by country. The score is assigned by subtracting those that agree with the statements, “humans were meant to rule over the rest of nature,” and “the balance of nature is strong enough to cope with the impacts of modern industrial nations,” from those that agree with the statements “when humans interfere with nature it often produces disastrous consequences,” and “If things continue on their present course, we will soon experience a major ecological catastrophe.” The scores range from 100 (worried about the environment) to -100 (not worried).
Differences in Income

 

Perhaps the most interesting note in this data is that the wealthier a Georgian is, the more likely they are to be environmentally generous.  Up to a point, the trend is precisely the opposite in the rest of the countries included. In Georgia, annual household income is correlated at +.143 to willingness to contribute income.  Among respondents in all 12 countries listed, however, income is negatively correlated at -.180. 

See also  Time Shifting 

 

Among the wealthier non-Georgians (+ $36,000 USD per annum), we see the trend reverse, wherein the very wealthy are more willing to contribute than the moderately wealthy. In Georgia, however, there is a direct and consistent increase with each income category. It seems that Georgia’s citizens and consumers may be weighing environmentalism when making their purchasing and charity decisions.

 

There were over 18500 respondents, including 1500 Georgians included in this analysis. All correlations were calculated with Spearman’s Rho and are significant at .01. The error margins for studies of this kind are +- 3.5% at a 95% confidence interval.

 

 

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